It was like a preview of heaven. There were all ages, all races, all abilities, all classes, and all educational levels worshipping God in spirit and truth. It was an amazing experience and one that I think will change our church forever. Years from now, I think we’ll look back and consider that Bible School 2012 was one of those significant events that defined who we are as a church and how we do ministry.
What made it so amazing, even miraculous? Well, the kids, of course. We had a lot of guests and that was great. We had a lot of kids whose parents regularly attend our church. We also had a lot of kids whose parents may not attend our church but the kids come on either Sundays or Wednesday nights and it was amazing to see them all together. It seemed like nearly every day the number of kids grew as they went out and invited their friends. I think it was the biggest Bible School we’ve ever had: 120 or more kids. The best thing for me was getting to see the kids interact with each other. Here they all are and they are the future of the church, especially this church. These are the future worshipers of God Most High and it was great to see them showing us what that worship will look like.
The volunteers were amazing as well. I’m so grateful to the many, many volunteers. We had perhaps the best response to any VBS we’ve ever done. This year we even had extra hands and it made everyone’s job so much easier. Thank you for serving, from the bottom of my heart. It was wonderful to watch the volunteers bond with the kids. Some of the volunteers had never experienced that kind of joint worship which we do on Wednesday nights with the “church” kids and the “neighborhood” kids. I think it really helped a lot of people to see where we’re headed as a church. It was a beautiful sight to see the volunteers interacting so well with all the kids. I think it helped us as a church create more relationships between adults and kids. Maybe in the fall, when the vans pull up and a swarm of neighborhood kids stream out, we’ll know each other better and see the individuals instead of the groups.
The leaders did a fantastic job. I’m so grateful to so many. Did you know that this year the team wrote their own curriculum? And it was among the best I’ve ever experienced. Thank you to the writers, the set designers, the graphic designers and the worship leaders. And the worship was amazing. This year we were treated to have an amazing team led by one of our amazing pastors, some amazing singers, and one of our returning college students and two of his friends from Nashville. Thank you. And the food! Wow. Thanks to the amazing kitchen crew who pulled off wonderful food and quickly. Thanks to the amazing skit actors who helped bring the Word of God alive.
I was also impressed to see so many junior and senior high school students helping. Thank you. You did a fantastic job with the kids. Thanks for doing a beautiful thing for Jesus.
I’m also extremely grateful to the Zion families that drove out to pick up kids they’ve “adopted” and that have moved out of the neighborhood and are living downtown at Oakridge. Thank you for sticking with these kids. Thank you for bringing them to VBS and to Wednesday nights. Thank you for being a stable and safe part of their lives.
I guess my overall sense about this year’s VBS is that love, peace, joy, patience, self control, faithfulness, kindness, broke out and were on full display for everyone to see. We showed the world what it means to love each other as Jesus loves us, and what it means to be One in Him. He was truly exalted. I love what I saw and I look forward to seeing even more of it as we continue on this journey together into God’s future.
Don’t forget our next opportunity to have fun together: Art Camp: July 16-20. Details on the website. Thanks for reading. God bless you. PJ